- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces fresh fava bean pods
- 1 6- to 7-ounce can solid light tuna in olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley plus 18 leaves for garnish
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet; brush slices with 3 tablespoons oil. Bake until bread is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Bring medium saucepan of water to boil. Shell fava beans, then drop beans into boiling water and cook 1 minute. Drain. Slip beans out of skins. Place beans in small bowl; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat.
Combine tuna with its oil, minced red onion, chopped parsley, and lemon juice in small bowl. Using fork, mash tuna mixture to coarse paste. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Baguette slices, fava beans, and tuna mixture can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Let baguette slices stand at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate fava beans and tuna mixture separately.
Divide tuna mixture among baguette slices. Top with fava beans and garnish each with 1 parsley leaf.
Crostini and bruschetta are two appetizers that are guaranteed to please time and time again. The bread&mdashtypically smaller slices of baguette or loaf bread for crostini and larger slices of rustic bread for bruschetta&mdashacts as a built-in plate, making them the perfect finger food. They're easy to prepare and provide a base for all kinds of seasonal vegetables, fruit jam, smoked fish, briny condiments, and lots and lots of cheese. These quick and easy appetizer recipes make elevating a meal&mdasheven on weeknights&mdasha breeze.
All crostini and bruschetta recipes start with good bread. Slices of baguette, pumpernickel, or a rustic country bread are drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven or grilled until they're golden brown on the outside but still soft on the inside. From here, some are smeared with cheese&mdashcreamy ricotta, tangy, crumbly goat cheese, or even shreds of Manchego, Parmesan, or sharp cheddar. Add vegetables, whether grilled slices or thin shavings of raw produce, or fruit (figs are fantastic!). Then sprinkle with fresh herbs for color and fragrant flavor and dig in.
During summer, there's nothing like tomato-topped bruschetta. We have recipes that call for both raw tomatoes, where the color and flavor of heirloom varieties shine, as well as grilled tomatoes, which bring a smoky, charred flavor. Pair with garlic and basil, of course, for a quintessential Italian recipe. To ensure that the bread doesn&rsquot get soggy from the juicy tomatoes, toast the bread for a few extra minutes so that it's extra-crispy, a hallmark of bruschetta.
When the cooler months come around, top crostini or bruschetta with seasonal fruit like kumquats or persimmons or a warm caramelized onion jam. Play around with flavors and textures with these fun and simple recipes.
Chunky Fava Bean, Parmesan and Preserved Lemon Crostini
Some of my chef friends are Hors D’oeuvres Aficionados. They love nothing better than dreaming up gorgeous little masterpieces of multi-layered chips, tuiles, shmears, tartares, phyllo’d, puff pastry’d creations, garnished with micro-sprouts, micro-herbs and dots of pureed you-name-it. On forks. In spoons. Skewered and impaled on toothpicks, rosemary stems or whittled lemongrass.
And these hors d’oeuvres are beautiful. Gorgeous. Hours of work, usually accomplished with tweezers in hand and a steady eye. I have made many of these myself, in search of that perfect morsel to start the evening with or as part of a grander cocktail party spread.
But, I often find myself returning to tried and true favorites: Warm Gougeres Creamy Chicken Liver Mousse Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur. The things that people love and devour and never mind eating over and over again. Comfort hors d’oeuvres. Veal and Porcini Meatballs. Seared Tuna. Crostini.
Crostini are a humble hors d’oeuvres. Simple. Satisfying. The blank slate of a perfectly toasted baguette slice opens up a world of possibilities and each season brings new flavors and ingredients to play with.
These crostini were inspired by 3 things: The arrival of the first fava beans of Spring my 5 jars of preserved Meyer lemons from last winter’s harvest and my current addiction to labneh.
In past years, I have pureed the fava beans, making a luxurious creamy spread for the crostini. But at this time of year the fava beans are small and tender, so I left them whole and tossed them with tiny cubes of parmesan cheese and diced preserved lemon peel for a nice chunky texture. The labneh provides the creamy layer between and the result is a satisfying, crunchy Spring-green, lemon-umami bite.
Chunky Fava Bean, Parmesan and Preserved Lemon Crostini
(makes 16 crostini)
1 pound fava beans
1 ½ ounce chunk of Parmesan cheese
2 quarters of a preserved lemon
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup yogurt cheese (labneh), Greek yogurt or ricotta
fresh ground pepper
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil while you shuck the fava beans. Have a small bowl of ice water nearby.
Blanche the shucked favas beans in the boiling water for 2 – 2 ½ minutes, depending on their size. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or spider and plunge immediately into the ice water. Drain and pat them dry.
Peel the favas by pinching a small hole in the outer shell and gently squeezing the beans out. Place them in a bowl.
Dice the parmesan cheese into ¼” cubes and add to the fava beans.
Using a sharp knife, trim the preserved lemon quarters down to the yellow rind, discarding the soft insides and most of the pith. Finely dice one of the quarters and add to the fava bean and parmesan mixture. Thinly sliver the other one to use as garnish. Set aside.
Add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and 4-5 grinds of fresh pepper into the fava bean mixture and stir together. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice and/or salt if desired.
Finely chop the garlic clove with ¼ teaspoon salt to a liquidy paste. Place the yogurt cheese or ricotta in a small bowl. Stir in the garlic and salt, and 4-5 grinds of fresh pepper. Mix together well.
To serve: Spread each crostini with some of the yogurt cheese, then top with a spoonful of the fava beans mixture. Top with a sliver or two of the preserved lemon rind.
Hi I was trying to find out if you can eat faba bean sprouts. Still hunting for the answer when I came upon the image of the lava bean crostini. It sounds great and am saving this one for future use. I think fava bean sprouts would be delicious, if they are not too tough.
Yes, you can eat the tender new sprouts and shoots as well as the flowers. They are delicious! Great in a salad or quickly sautéed in some olive oil in a hot pan. Enjoy the crostini! Sarah
A Selection of 3 Crostini
I can’t help but think that a cold glass of Prosecco would be a great accompaniment. In Italy, a choice of more than one type of crostini is normally offered. Use slices of baguette or ficelle, or mini Market loaves from Rise Artisan.** The bread can be lightly toasted, if you wish, by placing bread slices on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 – 12 minutes. You can brush a little EVO on slices before baking, if you like.
Mimosa: Spread bread slices with a little mayo (preferable olive oil mayo). Top each with slices of hard cooked egg garnish with a dollop of mayo season to taste with salt & freshly ground black
Tuna: Place a tin of water-packed tuna, a couple of tablespoons very soft butter, a teaspoon or so of EVO (a bit of anchovy fillet if you like them), 1-2 teaspoons of rinsed, drained capers and freshly ground pepper in a food processor process until light & fluffy. Variation: add some pitted, chopped green olives, chopped roasted red peppers & chopped marinated artichoke hearts.
Fava Bean: Young fava beans, shelled. Place in a food processor until creamy, but still a bit lumpy add drops of water if needed. Season to taste with EVO, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. These crostini will benefit by being served on toasted crostini that are rubbed with a clove of garlic after being removed from the oven.
** If you would like to find Rise Artisan, please go to my source list.
Provenance: Found in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bigeye represents 8 per cent of the world&rsquos tuna catch.
Bigeye has fattier flesh than yellowfin with marbling near the skin and a more pronounced richer flavour. Bright red and firm it makes excellent sashimi and meaty steaks. It is one of the two species known as &lsquoahi&rsquo, along with yellowfin. Try soy and sesame crusted bigeye with a ginger dressing, grilled spicy mango and bigeye skewers, or rapidly sear it in a griddle pan and serve with a lustrous caponata.
Three of the world&rsquos bigeye tuna stocks are in good health, but the Atlantic is overfished. To be sure that you&rsquore eating sustainable bigeye, look for the blue MSC label.
Tuna tutorial:Tuna&rsquos natural redness comes from myoglobin, a protein which stores and processes oxygen. Fresh tuna turns brown within hours but this doesn&rsquot affect the taste.
Recipe for Fava Bean Crostini Appetizer
- 4-6 slices of baguette.
- 15-20 Fava beans
- 5 leaves of fresh mint
- 10 leaves of parsley
- 1 1/2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt to taste
- pinch of pepper to taste
Smash the fava beans in a mortar until they become a rough ‘mush.’ Cut the parsley and mint finely, and add that as well as the olive oil and lemon juice to the mortar, stirring a bit until it’s all well mixed in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Rub the baguette slices in a little olive oil, and toast them until they become golden brown.
Spread the fava bean paste on top, and you got a wonderful summer appetizer.
Note: We’ve been asked where we got our mortar from and the answer is easy, right here: Vasconia 4-Cup Granite Molcajete
Fava bean paste closeup, what it should look like before adding olive oil and lemon juice. Fava Bean Appetizer
Shrimp and Fava Beans with Thyme
Makes 2 entree servings or 4 appetizer servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- About 2 ounces firm, salty ham such as prosciutto, cut into tiny dice (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 pound fresh, unshelled fava beans
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Shell fava beans according to instructions above.
Heat oil and butter in skillet over moderate heat. Add ham and garlic and toss for a minute. Add shrimp, favas and thyme and toss just until shrimp turn pink.
Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Serve immediately.
Provenance: Caught in the tropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The 'tiddler' of the commercial tuna species is also the most abundant. Skipjack, which as its name suggests, like to leap across the ocean surface, and represent 58 per cent of the world&rsquos tuna catch.
If you&rsquore eating tuna as a store-cupboard staple then there&rsquos a good bet it&rsquos skipjack. Its small, tender chunks are perfect for canning and its darker flaky meat has a distinct, strong fish flavour. This makes it a superb pop-top standby for everything from packed lunches and pasta dishes to quick salads and camping trips. Skipjack is the only one of these tunas not commonly eaten raw as sushi.
Try skipjack in cheesy tuna and spring onion melts, pan-fried tuna and parsley patties or in a creamy mayo and lemon-based tuna sauce (tonnato) as a dip for raw or charred vegetables.
Skipjack stocks are healthy in all ocean regions and, at the time of writing, no overfishing is occurring. You will find FAD-free, pole-and-line or purse-seine caught skipjack tuna available in stores. FADs or fish aggregating devices are man-made floats used to attract tuna purse seine fishing, which represents 66 per cent of global tuna catches, sets a net around a school of tuna and then pulls it closed like a purse. All of these fishing techniques face challenges when it comes to sustainability, but these can be overcome with careful management and by adapting fishing gear. MSC certified skipjack is, of course, from sustainable sources.
Look for John West skipjack tuna with the MSC blue fish tick, or for tuna from Talley&rsquos New Zealand skipjack tuna purse seine fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC Fisheries Standard in 2018.
Tuna and Fava Crostini - Recipes
2 5-oz. boneless, skinless wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare). Transfer the tuna to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and a few grinds of pepper cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.
Return the tuna steaks to the skillet to warm over low heat.